For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
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Augustine of Hippo
6. He addeth, "Thus have they rewarded me evil for good" (ver. 4). And as if we asked, what evil? for what good? "And hatred," he saith, "for my good will." This is the sum total of their great guilt. For how could the persecutors injure Him who died of His own free-will, and not by compulsion? But this very hatred is the greatest crime of the persecutor, although it be the willing atonement of the sufferer. And he hath sufficiently explained the sense of the above words, "In place of loving me," since they owed love not as a general duty only, but in return for His love: in that he hath here added, "for my good will." This love He mentioneth in the Gospel, when He saith, "How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldest not!"
7. He then beginneth to prophesy what they should receive for this very impiety; detailing their lot in such a manner, as if he wished its realization from a desire of revenge. Some not understanding this mode of predicting the future, under the appearance of wishing evil, suppose hatred to be returned for hatred, and an evil will for an evil will, since in truth it belongeth to few to distinguish, in what way the punishment of the wicked pleaseth the accuser, who longeth to satiate his enmity; and in how widely different a way it pleaseth the judge, who with a righteous mind punisheth sins. For the former returneth evil for evil: but the judge when he punisheth doth not return evil for evil, since he returneth justice to the unjust; and what is just, is surely good. He therefore punisheth not from delight in another's misery, which is evil for evil: but from love of justice, which is good for evil. ...